HELL'S KITCHEN — Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended a new NYPD policy banning cops from wearing NYPD merchandise even when they’re not on duty.
DNAinfo first reported that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had outlawed officers from wearing or using clothing and paraphernalia bearing the department's logo — other than their uniforms.
“Up to Ray Kelly," said Bloomberg at an unrelated press conference Tuesday. "He should set the standards."
The new policy bars cops from owning T-shirts, jackets, pins, pens, or any other item with NYPD letters or logos on them.
According to sources, the restrictions came after Kelly saw an officer wearing a shirt with NYPD letters on it, along with the military expression: "Kill Them All and Let God Sort It Out."
The directive was issued on Jan. 19 and specifically states that the only item on which an officer can display the NYPD letters or insignia is their department-issued uniform.
Bloomberg said that cops are on duty 24 hours a day, even when they're not at work.
"When they’re home, they’re still police officers. And that’s one of the things that enhances the safety in our city, one of the reasons they are permitted to carry a gun," he said.
"And so they’re not totally independent, even when they’re not on duty, from whatever the police department decides is appropriate," Bloomberg added. "But I’ll leave it to Ray."